Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Farmers Market Addiction

Oh... I love love love the farmers market. I usually go on Wednesday and Saturday, and the two markets each have a pleasantly unique atmosphere. In case something goes wrong, there are also farmers markets on Friday and Sunday, although those ones are smaller and are not year-round.

The Saturday market starts at 8 am, and I like to get there early, because it is a bit quieter, and also in case there are any hot commodities (like the first few tomatoes of the season). Often, like this morning, it is still cool and foggy. So I bundle off, grab my bags and go. I always run into friends and yoga students. This morning, as I was browsing the wares... I ran into 3 separate yoga students, a friend who also studies yoga with my same teacher, and our wonderful neighbors. It's such a lovely way to start the day. Everywhere you look there is such an amazing abundance of produce - I can't help but bask in the glory of all that is provided to us. The miracle of nature. I love that it is almost all organic, and all local, mostly all small farms, and that there is more to chose from than I could ever possibly shake a stick at! And then to see so many friendly faces gives me a sense of connection and community that is warming and dear. And of course, all the lovely interactions with the various farmers and vendors - whose efforts I am so grateful for. Their food & presence nourishes me in so many ways!

So, here is what I procured today. Some old favorites and a few new items. At top is a giant bag of nectaplums. Of course. Because I am helpless in their presence. Also some baby gem lettuce, shiitake mushrooms, red & yellow bell peppers, yellow & golden tomatoes, 2 ears of corn, collard greens, purple basil, 2 zucchini, 3 eggplants, a red onion, garlic, an english cucumber (so much better!!), scallions, fresh peanuts (hello boiled peanuts!!), and okra!

What fun! The fresh peanuts are a nice seasonal specialty, and the purple basil & okra are both things I've never purchased or cooked with before. I can't wait! I know that Susan V has lots of good okra recipes... so I'll look there and also check out some bhindi masala recipes. mmm.

Here's tonight's dinner, the "Mexicali Chop Salad" from the "Real Food Daily Cookbook." This salad is SO DELICIOUS. It's such an exquisitely perfect balance of flavors and textures... The Cilantro-Lime dressing with the recipe is especially lovely (just be moderated in your application!). Here are the few small changes I make:

- I don't bother with roasting the bell peppers, I like them raw and crunchy. I leave out the avocado, because Musty doesn't like it. I sometimes make the TASTY little corn chip crunchies, but tonight I didn't (they are - however - very worth the effort). I also left out the 1/4 c of canola oil in the dressing - there was enough oil already.

Look what else I made! Homemade flour tortillas!! They were delicious and easy. One thing about me, is that I hate going out at night for emergency dinner ingredients. I'm not sure why I'm so fussy about it. I thought tortillas would be nice with dinner, but didn't want to go out and buy any. So, I popped open the ever-trustworthy "Joy of Cooking," looked up flour tortillas & got to work. They were fun and easy... cool!

hope you're all doing well... hoorah for being back home in the kitchen, I am loving it!

14 comments:

  1. I love farmers' markets too, but don;t go as often as I would like. Bring home all that living, colorful food makes me feel so good. And I think fresh produce doubles as hoem decoration. Seeing a bowl of fresh fruit, for example, is much prettier than flowers...

    ReplyDelete
  2. The salad looks so good as well as all that fresh produce. Colorful salads are the best!

    ReplyDelete
  3. yumm all looks great, those tortillas are amazing! great job!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. you're like me - I like to shop at the farmer's market (and at Whole Foods) bright and early, when it's not too crowded (and before people pick over all the produce). you did a fantastic job on making homemade tortillas, as well as putting your "farmer's market bounty" to good use in tantalizing dishes!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the farmer's market, too! But I think I'd love your farmer's market the best- you get the best, most colorful produce- mmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Big UP to Farmer's Markets!! Looks beautiful, and I miss the year-round FMs of CA severly. I've had the Mexicali Chop Salad -- and my mouth is watering thinking about it now!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your farmer's market finds look so fresh and wonderful. I also love the market, especially in the summertime when there is so much produce to enjoy!!

    How cool that you made your own tortillas. Easy is always a nice word to see on a blog....

    ReplyDelete
  8. You farmers market finds are simpy wonderful. Can you share recipe for the tortillas? They look heavenly! I am eating tofu scramble as I type and am thinking that your tortillas would make a great addition to my breakfast! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  9. those veggies look so wonderful! i make my own corn tortillas, but i haven't tried flour tortillas yet. yours look so good that they made me want to make some soon!

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Farmers Market has changed my life & my kitchen! I love to go every week & get my veggies for a better price than in the stores. It's also great to see the money going directly to the farmer, instead of to a corporation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your farmer's market produce is just amazing...so vibrant and full of life. Way to go with those flour tortillas, too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Farmer's market this time of year is the BEST!! That salad and homemade tortillas look killer!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ooh, your homemade tortillas! Beautiful!

    Your farmers market experiences sound very special, and I wish I could find the same sort of atmosphere around here. I have to do some searching, but I'm sure there are lots of farmers markets here... How special to run into so many friends while you're there.

    I'm a bit jealous of your okra - I want to try making bhindi masala. If you happen to make some, be sure to tune me in! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a wonderful, beautiful salad. All those colors are making me so happy to be veg :)

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, they really make my day!